So this week began not just a new, month long 5/3/1 Powerlifting cycle; but it also marks the beginning of my journey towards a 315lb squat. I plan on one day writing an entire article on Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 method, explaining the importance of training percentages, proper programming and even nutrition. But the one thing that’s most important here is calculating your 1 Rep Max for lifting, which is how I got this point.
What you need to do is take the amount of weight you lifted – the exercise itself being irrelevant here – and multiply it by the number of reps you did, and again by .0333 and then add the amount of weight you lifted. So let’s just use myself as an example. In week 3 of my previous cycle I hit a PR by squatting 270lbs for five reps. So I did the following on my handy dandy cellphone calculator:
270 x 5 x .0333 + 270 = 314.955
And of course, if you round off 314.955 you’ll easily get 315.
I did have two small problems however. Number one, the one power rack in my gym was taken up by someone using it for…Deadlifts?? Ok, so it’s not as bad as say…using the rack to do curls but it’s still a waste of space. Sure, there were two squat racks I could use but my one issue was that neither of them are as stable on the ground as the power rack. The power rack doesn’t tend to slide around as much as the squat racks do and it made my arm positioning a tad awkward, even adding a little extra pressure to my left side during the ascension portions of my squats. I recorded this too, by the way.
Number two is completely my fault. I essentially gave myself a bit of a stomach virus just a day earlier from overeating. At my job there’s a nice, long stretch between my breakfast smoothie and my lunch time. Therefore, there’s a point where I’m going to get real hungry. I never carried anything to eat in between because I never felt hungry before lunch. But now that the weights are becoming heavier, the hunger pangs are finally kicking in. So when it hits, it hits. Needless to say I ate way more than I should’ve in too short of a time and I suffered for it the rest of the day. I couldn’t even eat dinner that night.
Needless to say, I walked into the gym the next night feeling weaker than usual. I was still able to pull off my entire workout, but the final two squat sets were harder than they would’ve been had I not gotten myself sick. Just remember something: in life these things happen, what matters the most is how you get through it.
110lbs – 1x 5
140lbs – 1 x 5
170lbs – 1 x 5
195lbs – 1 x 3
225lbs – 1 x 3
250lbs – 1 x 3
165lbs – 1 x 10
245lbs – 1 x 10
330lbs – 1 x 10 – New PR!
You can see the video of me squatting 250 for 3 here: